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Paul T

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Paul T last won the day on January 28

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  1. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    It's something like "bit parts" but not that, I know it's mentioned a couple of times in the 689 pages of this thread.
  2. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    We know there was a range of templates at the same time, because my Scottish friend and Levi's Europe attempted to track them down and did obtain some. I don't know how much of the internal stitching etc was operator initiative but I would guess a lot of it was because I see that even now in the short run lines they have in San Francisco. One woman will be seen as constructing the definitive pocket stitching and it's handed down from one to the next. Then in different factories there will be different traditions. I can't remember what the word is for all the 'bits" - ie coin pockets, belt loops etc - but these were especially different between factories. So while a new cut might ripple through the production lines fairly quickly, those other pieces might be updated in a different way. Unfortunately I don't have my complete notes from Alan Joy, the fella who helped set up the Scottish produciton line and was then a consultant to LVC when it started in the 90s, but he did say there was a lot of argument about what a particular model of 501 should be, simply because there were such conflicting examples to choose from, and the US and European LVC both had very different opinions, even on a cut for a particular year. It's a shame, I would love to have tracked down a bunch of operators from the 70s and 80s and quiz them about how knowledge was handed down, it would make great oral history too... I pitched a more detailed denim book where I could cover that social/technical history but couldn't get a good enough offer to do it properly.
  3. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    that's fascinating I was told by one guy who was attempting to standardise new templates for the Scottish-made jeans in the early 80s, that the previous guides were simply worn by high-volume use, I can't remember what they were made from but I think thin wood or ply. The Scottish plant previous made flares or what have you, then started making the European 501 with Cone fabric (ring/OE) around 1981. There's a lovely little story on the Dundee plant which explains the risks of copper rivets here.
  4. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    Indeed, but different people have reached a different consensus, because there's a lot of room for interpretation in a cut. Pattern making is quite complex, particularly the way sizing changes were accommodated. For instance, in the early days the top block was left the same size and only the waist band changed, which is why you get pleats in some of the early yokes. Interpreting old patterns always has a subjective element to it, particularly if you're only looking at worn, washed examples, as they will have stretched in different ways. On top of that, I'd reckon that LVC have added a bit of a spin to each pair, to delineate them better. I don't agree with all of the decisions, for instance I don't like the 66 pockets and wish they'd change the design. I have mentioned this to peeps in charge, but they have a lot on their plate. Re measurements, there's a full set here. Some measurements have changed, in almsot all models the waist measurements are much more true to size but it gives a good idea of relative seat, thigh and leg opening dimensions etc.
  5. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    They almost certainly didn't have an "official pattern". The patterns often varied between factories, and the tooling and templates might wear or change at different times. Even things like the pockets aren't standardised between factories. Someone who attempted to go back to an "original" pocket shape in the 80s found that there wasn't really a definitive one. Last time I was at Levi's I was shown a bunch of deadstock they've obtained recently in search of more "accurate" cuts. But even pairs from the same periodlooked significantly different. So in the end, whatever is done will be a judgement call.
  6. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    I love both the 55 and 66. At this time,given the Cone issue, one key difference is the fabric. they're both nice, but different. Personally, I prefer that of the 55, it's grainier and less blue. For a slimmer cut, buy your 55 an inch smaller than you would the 66, the seat is generously cut and the waistband will stretch. Re the 47; there's no such thing as a perfect reproduction, because you're reproducing a range of jeans, and also trying to get a different character where the originals changed graudually, there's a likelihood you'll always impose some kind of aesthetic. I wouldn't call the 47 modernised; it's more engineered as if the user bought a particular size and stretched it etc etc. You can see photos of people wearing jeans from that period that look like the LVC cut. In any case, it's pretty successful, as most other manufacturers copied that LVC 47 outline, it's become definitive. If i have time I'll post a comparison of the fabrics. Here's the 66, then the 55 (right) and 47. Note the bulkiness of the 55 top block and how much higher the rise it. It would say that's more of an obivous difference than the taper. The 66 has a mild taper, not obviously drastic. These are sized 32 for the 55 and 66, 34 for the 47. In real life, the differences between the fabrics are much more obvious.
  7. Paul T

    Happy Jeans - Tcb 20s contest thread

    So we've had a bit of spring here. Lots of beautiful walks in the park. And the final, misty photo, is of my new walk to work. This is an event of seismic important in my life - no denim 9-5, for the first time ever. I fancied a change, after a decade writing books I've signed up for a proper job and am retraining as a high school physics teacher. Which feels fantastic... apart from the denim aspect, although with advancing years wearing a suit ain't a bad thing. So this is my last summer of denim, and to celebrate the first sunny weather, I washed the '20s. They're not as blue as in the pics. I can see real leg twist coming in now.
  8. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    Around that time LVC did quite a few customised jeans, they are quite likely designed as a pair of customised Boyfriend jeans - that was A Thing for them at that time
  9. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    those look great . Yup Levi's dropped premium denim for such a long time, between 1983 and 1987 I think it was.
  10. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    ooh, those are gorgeous @diggers, v jealous!
  11. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    Good luck with the sale, Allen. The Lot 333 are fascinating. The originals (and the repro) used recycled cotton in the yarn, I'm not sure where the farbic was milled but they were a real one-off.
  12. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    they look great, suggest you put the waist size in the listing title though.
  13. Paul T

    Levi's Vintage Clothing

    Looking good, Bartleby! I didn't mention at the time, but when I posted my 3-pleat back in the summer and gathered suggestions of whether to wash, which I accordingly did... for a few months I thought it was an absolutel disaster. Just seemed to have shrunk too much to wear. I threw it in my denim box and ignored it. I decided to cut my losses and sell the fucker in the autumn, when I got rid of my 555 55, Full Count 108 and more. Then saw they didn't actually fetch that much used, started wearing it again, and decided the sizing is fine. Mind you, it's getting grubby around the cuffs once more, but this piece of clothing will never go in the washer again. Last week was a beautiful golden dawn light in the bathroom, which captures the texture of this lovely Cone fabric perfectly.
  14. Paul T

    Happy Jeans - Tcb 20s contest thread

    Been enjoying everyone's updates, sorry for not posting, not too many exciting shots to share. Been busy with various stuff, but also enjoying those crisp early mornings. THis photo is of the pooch in a particular point in Greenwich park, where there's a number of Anglo Saxon burial mounds. In cold weather they often look markedly different from the surrounding ground - the psychic energy of the ancient folk lurking below? It's a great location - from here you can see modern skyscrapers, and the 17th century Queens House, while just further down is the site of the main Roman temple in the area. we had a dry January - until last Friday, which is Burns night, when one reads the poetry of the Scottish poet, and eats haggis with tatties and neeps - mashed potato and swede. Always a glorious time. I paired mine with Laphroaig. The winter for me was a time for de-cluttering, so I've been selling stuff on eBay for the last three months at least. Including in what's gone so far is a 28mm VC Leica lens, Hofner Club 50 guitar, Couesnon alto sax, light fittings, vinyl 45s, my 555 '55, King Crimson and George Harrison CDs (nearly £200 for those alone) and other random items. The premise was to cut down on stuff and get what I have working; which meant , for instance, I got my Heuer Carrera fully serviced, and had my Jazzmaster restored. I think I mentioned earlier, it turned out it's quite a rare guitar, with an ash body, in a blonde finish, which is the earliest custom colour. I have it sitting in the living room now, and obviously i'm churning out some top riffs. It's great, all the pleasure of new stuff with none of the guilt. I also have a lovely reissue case, swapped with Erk for some Big E and LVC stuff. There's the usual TBC quick update. Pockets are going now. It's looking more and more likely that from this fall I'll be starting a new job where, for the first time in 30 years, I won't be wearing denim every day. This therefore means this is my last chance to win a denim contest, hence I shall be using sandpaper, power tools, blowtorches etc to make sure I beat Volvo to the prize.
  15. Paul T

    Happy Jeans - Tcb 20s contest thread

    Oh that's lovely, so happy for you! I got my Fender Jazzmaster back after being on a waiting list for a year, but that one definitely wins. Who is the maker? Is it rosewood, if so can you tranport it internationally or will you have to smuggle it down your TCBs?